Monday, February 23, 2015

I have a lot of things to worry about.

The hardest part about growing up is not everyone does. Or at least, not at the same time. 

In middle school, it was the first guy to get a girlfriend. Everyone hated that guy.
In college, it might have been the guy that moved off campus first. Or the guy that never moved off at all.
Later, it's the guy that gets married first. Then the guy that moves away.

Whatever it is, as a man, once that first step is taken, there's really no going back. You can hang out again, catch up here and there, but the fact is, it's never going to be like it used to be. 

Scenic Route shocked me. Rarely does a film surprise me by how good it is, but Kevin and Michael Goetz' 2013 thriller did just that. Buried in the dingiest depths of Netflix Hell, I unearthed this gem late Wednesday night - and loved damn near every minute of it. The only problem?

I don't want to tell you anything about it.

Okay, fine. Maybe just a little...

Old (former?) friends Mitchell and Carter, in an effort to re-connect, decide to get away for the weekend. Their trip takes them through an incredibly lonely stretch of deserted highway, where inevitably, Carter's old Ford breaks down. What begins as a shitty day, escalates into a full-blown nightmare - one I'm not sure either will ever wake from. It's all pretty f--king the best possible way.

Even though the beginning teases you with the end, or at least the middle, there was more than one occasion where I was left completely blown away by the events that transpired. Writer Kyle Killen crafts quite the series of unfortunate events. It gets so bad, I had to look away.

I couldn't avert my eyes for long, however, as this two-man show consistently captivates. Josh Duhamel, a pretty likable guy (even in those awful Transformers movies), turns in a career-best performance as the relatively uptight Mitchell. His bottoming out is mesmerizing. But a real kick-in-the-nuts, quite literally, comes from Dan Fogler, a guy generally relegated to funny fat guy duty. Carter isn't as sympathetic as Mitchell, as he's basically a giant asshole, but Fogler presents him in an incredibly honest way. It's thankless work, but for the most part, incredibly well done, too.

Thankless sure, but well done - not so much, here are the Yays and Boos. As I really don't want to spoil anything, these two are going to be even more cryptic than usual. Cryptic is a synonym for painfully unfunny, right?

Making your friend, who's on crutches, scale that hill? doesn't make the top 5 of shitty things that Carter does.
  • That damn opening. It goes something like Crutches, Blood, Screams then Mohawk. Whoa.
  • That Old Guy was a patient dude. 
  • My favorite line #1: Has nothing happened to you in the last ten years? F--king brilliant.
  • My favorite line #2: That is exactly why you can't have a mohawk in the real world!" Also brilliant.
  • Speaking of, if you're a guy and you can make it to the end of this film without longing for the aforementioned mohawk, you are a better man than I.'re also a dick.
  • This movie is 82 minutes. And it's not f--king terrible.
  • Okay, serious time. As much as my wife would never want to hear it (perhaps any woman, married or otherwise), there were some things about relationships and marriage that were indisputable fact (at least in  moments of desperation). Oh, I'm going to sound like the worst person alive for agreeing with what Mitchell said (not did), but we have all been there. And if you haven't? Shut off your computer, kiss your loving wife goodnight, and then go f--k yourself.
  • And finally, the ending. Let's just leave it at that.

No lie, this is one of the happier moments.
  • As a rule, I f--king hate NO SERVICE, but for this flick...I'll allow it. (still gets a Boo, though)
  • Carter has got some balls, man. Most of what he said made me wince, but in a way, you gotta respect him. (but holy shit! Mitchell's rebuttal? Wow!)
  • The car/house line seemed kind of mean, no?
  • Windshield washer fluid. F--k that.
  • As Boos they would be too specific, but let me tell you, as I was jotting some notes down, I wrote down an elongated f--------------k more than once. 
  • What the f--k, a wolf? Is this The Grey?
  • And finally, the ending. Let's just leave it at that.
I don't really ever demand that you see something, but with Scenic Route, I might be making an exception. And even if you really, really hate it, I'm assuming our friendship will survive it.

It's not like you're getting married or anything, is it? Oh, shit. You are? Congrats, man. Good for you.

We'll still hang out, right?


  1. I've heard of it, but nothing about it so I wasn't sure I was ever going to watch it. I'm definitely intrigued, now. And if that pic is one of the happier moments...yeesh. Another short movie that was a surprisingly good...and intense thriller is Blue Ruin, clocking in at 90 minutes.

    1. Blue Ruin was going to be my pick that night, but I somehow stumbled into this one. I've heard nothing but good things about I'm definitely looking forward to it. Huge bonus? I don't even know what the Hell it's about.

  2. I've had this in my Netflix queue for ages, so I'm glad to hear it's actually good!

    1. Let me know if you ever get around to it...I'd love to hear your thoughts. Being that I'm typically, late to the party, I'm always convinced that I'm delusional when I love something and no one else has seen it.

      (remember, it's pretty short!)

  3. I loved this movie too; I'm glad you discovered it. :-) Excellent review!

    1. NICE! I'm so psyched that you not only saw it, but you loved it too. Maybe I'm not crazy after all.


  4. Sounds great. If you insist, I will check this out!

    Also, SEE BLUE RUIN!!!!

    1. Sounds like a deal. I almost fired up Blue Ruin last night....but I opted for SNL with my wife.

      Bad call, I know.